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Ecstasy Produced for 'Riot Control' in South Africa

According to Reuters, on June 9 1998 a fomer South African government scientist told South Africa's Truth Commission that in the final days of apartheid the government ordered its chemists to make one tonne of ecstasy, for 'riot control'.

The scientist, Dr Johan Koekemoer, former head of chemical and biological weapons research at the secret Delta G facility, told the commission that he did not approve of the project and did not trust the motives of those who asked him to make the ecstasy, saying "I did not believe ecstasy was a good incapacitant and I told my superiors that...ecstasy enhances interpersonal relationships. I told Dr Mijburgh [overall chief of Delta G] I did not want to kiss my enemy". He personally delivered the ecstasy, in powder form, to Mijburgh between February 1992 and January 1993.

More details on the case from a correspondent in South Africa:

"At the moment, there is an ongoing commission of inquiry being held into the activities of the secret service during the apartheid years. The last few days of the inquiry have lifted the lid on the activities of a clandestine government laboratory called the Roodeplaat Research Laboratory. Evidence presented by former lab employees at the commission of inquiry this week, reveal that the laboratory produced all sorts of exotic poisons for use against anti-apartheid activists. These included cyanide, thallium, botulism and paraquat - and, wait for it, ecstasy.

According to evidence presented this week, between February 1992 and January 1993, no less than 912kg of Ecstasy `in pure crystalline form' was manufactured by the laboratory. Working on a tab dosage of say 125mgs, that's enough E for 73 million hits! The evidence being presented to the commission is that the E was going to be used to `incapacitate the enemy'.

The shadowy figure behind the E production was the former head of the army special operations called Wouter Basson who is now facing criminal charges for being in possession of E a year or two back. The evidence presented in court was that he was having the E manufactured for `incapacitating the enemy', but the word is that he was was producing it for international distibution in order to make himself a whole lot of money. In fact, quite a bit of this E turned up last year amongst the local rave community. It came in brown capsules and was judged to be 'very good stuff'.

The word from a journalist friend of mine who was been doing a lot of research into the activities of the former apartheid government, is that a lot of Basson's E found its way into the mouths of many of the army and police personnel who were keeping the regime going. Well, it wasn't long before the government capitulated and handed over the country to Mandela's ANC party. One wonders how much of an effect the E had in this change of heart!

Anyway, the word is that Basson has a great deal of the original 912kg of ecstasy hidden away somewhere in South Africa. And if he manages to escape a prison sentence, this E will doubtless continue to find its way onto the local market. Since the quality of E here in South Africa has declined sharply this year (in line with trends in Europe and the UK) the local ravers are waiting with baited breath for the re-emergence of `Basson's Brownies' as they have come to be known......"